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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
Now that the American workforce is more diverse than ever before, what do we do with the differences? The old-school approach is to pretend that racial and ethnic distinctions either do not exist or do not matter—a worldview called color blindness.
As a new psychology study shows, however, “just sweeping race under the rug can be bad for everybody in an organization,” says Victoria C. Plaut, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia and the study’s lead author.
Color blindness cloaks difference like the emperor’s new clothes: Everyone can see that race and ethnicity influence people, but no one can talk about it. Rather than making minorities feel comfortable, though, this implicit gag order actually leads them to feel less loyal to their employers and less engaged with their work, find Plaut and her colleagues.
In contrast, acknowledging and even celebrating diversity—a worldview called multiculturalism—inspires greater commitment, pride, and conscientiousness among minority employees. Organizations with these